ALEKS Math - a Review

ALEKS (Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces) is a web-based math curriculum that utilizes artificial intelligence to provide an adaptive, individual learning program. It able to identify what your child does and doesn't know and then directs him/her to the next appropriate math skill to learn. It provides examples, assessments, and immediate feedback for the student.

Yes, I am able to do high school algebra, but there's some re-learning involved (it's been more than a few years!), so it's nice that my son has a program that gives him individualized lessons and help. He really likes using ALEKS in our homeschool. While math is a sequential subject, he has the flexibility to jump around from one math skill to another - all within the confines of what ALEKS identifies appropriate for his learning path. So if he's a little stuck or bored with a specific topic, he can work on something different for a time, and come back to that later.

He also really likes being able to see his progress immediately (no waiting for mom to grade papers!). A Student Pie Chart is provided which is split up into pieces for various learning areas. At the center of each pie wedge, a darker segment of color extends out, indicating mastery in that particular skill set. It's nice for both him and me to have a visual review like this. As you mouse over a particular area, a window comes up which further explains what's covered and includes a link to an example of that skill.

ALEKS doesn't use multiple choice questions, so your child has to come up with an answer, not just guess. Because it's individualized and the student has to reach mastery of foundational skills, he/she is not moved on to new topics until ready. ALEKS is also able to identify gaps in your child's math knowledge and provide the lessons and practice needed to cover them. Courses are available from 3rd grade through 12th, from basic arithmetic to Pre-Calculus and Trigonometry. There is also a wealth of resources available and are listed by education role (parents, students, homeschoolers, and tutors).

ALEKS uses Java and is compatible with both Windows and Mac. You can sign up for a free 30-day trial to try it out and see what you think. If you decide to continue, it's a subscription-based program with three payment options. Monthly - $19.95, 6-months - $99.95, or 12-months - $179.95 (one child). For multiple students, there are family discounts at the 6- and 12-month levels. There are no textbooks necessary, just the internet.

There's so much to this program, I'm not sure I've done it justice! Please be sure to read more about ALEKS in other reviews at the TOS Crew blog.

Disclaimer: I was provided with a free trial subscription to try out ALEKS. The opinions stated here are my own.

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